Sunday, July 14, 2013

Painting British Shermans

Flames of War Sherman Tutorial video

With my British infantry nearly finished, it's time to get weaving on some armour. I'm not a particularly confident painter of vehicles as most of the chaps that I know that are tend to begin their advice with "First spend €300 on an airbrush". That sadly is not an option, but I've found the Flames of War tutorial videos an admirable corrective. I have finally finished stowing and otherwise messing with my British Second World War Armour which consists of three PSC Shermans, two Armourfast Cromwells and a two Armourfast Achilles. I may add additional tanks in time, but seven is sufficient for most Memoir '44 scenarios for the time being. 

I started this chap as a guinea pig for the technique. He is a PSC sherman with stowage from the Hobbyden resin range and some S&S metal bits, as well as some things I made out of clay because I couldn't find my greenstuff. I had hoped that the dry clay would prove stronger than it is. I will be using greenstuff in future. I started by spraying the tank with a coat of Tamiya Dark Green and then added a Devlan mud wash as these were the closest colours to those mentioned in the video. 

This was my first time using Tamiya spray and while it wasn't bad, it didn't perform quite as well as the Army Painter and Games Workshop sprays I'm used to.  I will be giving the other tanks a blast of Chaos Black spray before I spray them with the Tamiya. Lesson learned. 

I try to get a little modelling done as soon as I get home from work as I find it an admirable way of digesting the events of the day (or in this case, the night) - but I ground to a halt after I applied a dilute wash of Devlan mud as it would need to be completely dry before I proceed. Next step is two dry brushing of Russian uniform and detailing. 

With my advance stymied in that direction and eager to preserve operational momentum I decided that I would try another experiment.  I am adding a small force of Soviet paratroopers to my Cold War forces.  I remember reading about this chaps as a schoolboy. The school library was stocked by whatever old boys had lying around taking up space, so it was a somewhat heterodox assortment. One of the results was that along with a lot of Waugh, a great deal of Irish language religious poetry and books about Cuba, there were a number of those part work collections that were popular in the early eighties. These were usually magazines collected in binders and were about how the Russians were ten foot tall invincible supermen. 

Soviet paratroops were a particular bogey man, though by the time I got around to reading them the Soviet Union was a thing of the past. 

Trying to replicate the colours of the camo suit with what I had on hand, I failed miserably. The result was a drab sort of mess. This was my second attempt and one which surprised me, a coat of GW Goblin Green with patches of Goblin Green mixed with white. The result is reminiscent of mint icecream, but looks right to my eye at wargaming range, though a little bright up close. 

Now I better get a wriggle on if I'm to make Evensong. 


  1. Your paratrooper got me thinking about Red Dawn. Classic cinema ;)


  2. Wolverines! You can't beat a spot of John Milnius.

  3. "a drab sort of mess" ... surely that's the point of a camo suit?

  4. I am old fashioned (and cheap) enough to continue to use paint brushes to paint up my vehicles. I even paint the numbers, though use decals for smaller tac signs and stuff.

    On the matter of painting figures, my own recommendation is to go for high contrasts, go several shades lighter on mid to light colours, and 'go bright'.

    I discovered this the first time I painted my WW2 Brits. The uniform colour struck me as far too dark on the finished figure. Since then I have used a far lighter colour, and the effect, for mine, is much more attractive. Painted the same way as you have done, your Soviet Paras will look great on the table.

  5. I'd give him a coat of Devlan Mud as well and he'll be perfect...

  6. Ink or tint him with a yellowish ochre perhaps?

    Regards, Chris.